Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Shul Close To My Heart Torn Apart By Strife!

This letter was sent to me a few different times, by what appears to be different people. I am not judging anyone, and I'm making a full disclaimer, I am biased on this issue. What really pains me is that this shul which began al ha'Torah v'al ha'Avoda, with no ulterior motives other than having a place to daven and learn seriously, with no political agenda whatsover, is internally collapsing from what I gather by what is being e-mailed to me.

I have no knowledge to the goings-on at all in this shul, and I have spoken to nobody about the machloket, but as Rav Pam zt"l used to say when he heard about such machloket " even if it's not true, the fact that such stories and strife appear among Yidden, that's bad enough".

So with a sad heart, I publish the very heavily edited letter.


Letzonus Corner:


Anonymous said...

How odd, how odd...why are you suddenly editing anything-it's not like you are worried about loshon horah-thats a sin for sissies, right????? You are the ultimate pot calling the kettle black- you'll mar anyone's reputation that you can sink your claws into without proving a blasted thing about some people,yet if a Rabbi does it, you're all over it saying how lousy our leadership is....Well, maybe you are sorta(barf) some people's "leadership", and maybe you can do some sorta introspection and see that your ways parallel the ones that you are chastising..

Gumshoe said...

Are you not naming the rov because you have held him in esteem until now? I guess this because you may have made one mistake that unwittingly identifies him. And you once praised the rabbi in question.

Allah Akbar said...

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg today named his education advisor, Fatima Shama, to head the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. She is a Bronx native and the daughter of immigrant parents – her late father was Palestinian.

As Senior Education Policy Advisor, Ms. Shama – who speaks Arabic, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish – worked on the renewal of the City’s school governance legislation signed into law yesterday by Governor Paterson. She helped design the Service in Schools initiative that is part of the Mayor’s NYC Service agenda, collaborated on the development of the eighth grade promotion policy, worked closely with the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies to improve safety in our schools.

Prior to joining the Bloomberg Administration, Ms. Shama was the Program Development and Public Relations Manager for the Arab-American Family Support Center in Brooklyn.

The Office of Immigrant Affairs helps develop policies.

Yochanan Mann said...


Monsey Family Drug Store LLC at 108 Route 59 in Monsey was fined $5,000 by the New York state Department of Education and the state Board of Pharmacy, according to state records. The company was fined for failing to notify officials promptly that there was no supervising pharmacist at a retail pharmacy it operates in the hamlet of Hartsdale in Westchester County during a three-month period in 2007. The president of Monsey Family Drug Store, Yochanan Mann, agreed to the penalty in March. The settlement of the charges was approved by the state in May and announced at the August meeting of the Board of Regents.

Leib Tropper Fraud Alert! said...


Larry Gordon is running a 2nd puff piece this week to promote Tropper's fraudulent EJF.

Anonymous said...

look at the title of the document. Bess.JPG

I wonder who this rabbi is

Anonymous said...

can you answer ny response??? i posted at 8:07 pm- like to hear your take on yourself(if you bother to analyze yourself ever)

Anonymous said...

even the guy who posted at 8:13 cannot understand why you are not naming the rav- doesn't it scare you that everyone expects you to give them the dirt on EVERYONE? It seems like you are being used to provide everyone with entertainment here- almost like the Star or Enquirer....Yes-you have exposed some criminals in our community-and thank you for that- but for your own sake- try to keep it at that...well, whatever...i'm not your wife-u ain't going to listen to my 2 cents...

Anonymous said...

I don't know you mr unorthodox jew, but your cockiness is just irking me tonight...I am not related to or friends with anyone mentioned on your blog-so you can't blame it on that...it's just you...you irk me...you know that you have a strong following-and you still just let it rip...you let your readers badmouth anyone and everyone....the more vulgarities the better...you wanna know what did you in for me??? when you had a poll asking people if they would ever consider making a shidduch with some non-desirables children or grandchildren....a poll...A big fat frickin game- when im sure the families were/are reeling.....so now your fanbase will say "so get th f--k off the site missy"...well, trust me-i come back here only once in a blue-i like to see where our nation is holding.....

Chicago Reader said...

The Rav's name was already mentioned in these comments as well as clicking the letter reveals who it is. Out of Hakoras Hatov the editor chooses to take a pass and not take a stance. That is both admirable and commendable.

Vishnitzer Bahayme said...


Did UOJ convince the State Supreme Court to stop the illegal chassune hall on 53rd St?

Endorsed by UOJ said...


Shop here to support them.

Anonymous said...

I'm fully aware of the RCC and its dealings. the reason that this is so serious, because people blindly believe their rabbis thinking that everything preached to them is the absolute truth! but when you have a thief, liar, extortionist dressed in rabbinic garb, the damage he inflicts on his victims is immeasurable because people automatically believe this so called "rabbi". I'm not against rabbis,but i believe that recent news shows you that a beard, and semicha, and a shul doesnt make a person an upright individual. I hope L.A community will wake up to see the truth. rabbi Bukspan was a dear friend of mine. he was ousted as a leading kashrut person in L.A for 1 reason only... because the RCC wanted the business. people in LA were relying on his hashgacha for many years.

Vus Zogt UOJ? said...

A review of “Just One Jew: The Grandson of a Gadol Tells His Story,” Moishe Mendlowitz, Feldheim 2009.

In this autobiographical account of the vicissitudes of his journey back to Hashem and a Torah life, Moishe Mendlowitz, the grandson of Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, zt’l, reaches deep into the hearts of his readers, teaching profound lessons that resonate within our souls. As an added bonus, this memoir is replete with vintage black-and-white photos of generations of prominent rebbeim and members of the Mendlowitz family.

In Just One Jew, Mr. Mendlowitz does not mince words as he offers a refreshingly candid full disclosure of his departure from a Torah-observant lifestyle, as a student at Brooklyn’s Yeshiva Torah Vodaath. He chronicles both his immersion into the abysmal darkness of secular decadence and his return to an observant life with unbridled passion and honesty.

The son of R' Avraham Mordechai Mendlowitz, z’l, young Moishe rejected the lifestyle of his antecedents after graduating from Torah Vodaath. The next 15 years were spent building an entrepreneurial career that included a highly successful string of lucrative businesses.

Living in a palatial home in Rhinebeck, New York, Mr. Mendlowitz seemed at ease in his secular life—making money hand over fist, enjoying all the material possessions that he acquired, and never entertaining the notion of returning from whence he came.

It wasn’t until a near-death experience in a horrific car accident, seven months subsequent to his father’s passing, that things began to change. “I was a total success and a complete failure,” he says. “The former was how I appeared on the outside, the latter was what I couldn’t even admit to myself,” he ruefully observed.

The year was 1986. As a man in his early thirties, Mr. Mendlowitz took the first small step in transforming his life by shearing off his long hair, out of respect for his family. As he points out throughout this book, he was never shunned or ridiculed by his family for his aberrant lifestyle, and it is clear that the unconditional love of his mother and sister served as a source of moral strength throughout his odyssey.

Never knowing his revered and holy grandfather personally, as he was born six years after Reb Shraga Feivel was niftar in 1948, Moishe Mendlowitz speaks of Reb Shraga Feivel’s stellar accomplishments in the world of Torah with profound respect and deep admiration. Of his grandfather, he says, “What defined him more than anything was his love for Klal Yisroel. He constantly put the interests of the whole ahead of his own. He sent his donors to other yeshivas that needed shoring up; he sent his best students away to yeshivas where there was greater need for their talents; his constant aim was not building up his own yeshiva but improving education in America for all Jews.”

Irrespective of the love and guidance of his family, and the constant help from his prominent uncles, Rabbi Sender Linchner and Rabbi Yitzchak Karpf, Mr. Mendlowitz found himself negotiating some uneven terrain on the road back to a Torah life.

Archie Bunker said...


The cartoonist Hergé is popular again, as is his adventurous reporter Tintin, who will be featured in a Stephen Spielberg movie due out in 2011.

But if you go to the Brooklyn Public Library seeking a copy of “Tintin au Congo,” Hergé’s second book in a series, prepare to make an appointment and wait days to see the book.

“It’s not for the public,” a librarian in the children’s room said this month when a patron asked to see it.

The book, published 79 years ago, was moved in 2007 from the public area of the library to a back room where it is held under lock and key.

The move came after a patron objected, as others have, to the way Africans are depicted in the book. “The content is racially offensive to black people,’’ a librarian wrote on Form 286, also known as a Request for Reconsideration of Library Material.

Libraries often have policies that allow patrons to complain about content they find objectionable. New York City libraries have received almost two dozen written objections since 2005. But the book about Tintin was the only challenged item to have been removed from the shelves, library officials said.

It determined the book no longer belonged on the open stacks, but rather should be tucked away in the Hunt Collection, which are kept in a vault-like room accessible only to staff members.

The decision to get rid of a book, or restrict access to it, goes to the very heart of a public library. “Policies should not unjustly exclude materials and resources even if they are offensive to the librarian or the user,’’ says the Web site of the American Library Association, which adds, “Toleration is meaningless without tolerance for what some may consider detestable.”

So the Brooklyn library, like most others, routinely offers access on its shelves to hot-button works like Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” or Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Capricorn,” which has a naked couple on its cover.

The 11 written objections to Brooklyn’s collection include complaints about “Beloved,” by Toni Morrison (sexual content), and “Looking for Alaska,” by John Green (obscenity and denigration of religion).

(I heard a rumor that Shmarya is filing a complaint to ban Tanach and Shas.)

Anonymous said...

Lets not forget the sex offendor Mashgiach for the RCC at Mashu Mashu in Valley Village

Milton's rebbitzen a"h said...


Rose Friedman, a free-market economist whose extraordinary collaboration with her husband, Milton, proved essential to his Nobel-prize-winning career, died Tuesday at her home in Davis, Calif. Her birth records have been lost, but her family said she was probably 98.

The cause was heart failure

Rose Director, as she was known after her family emigrated to the United States from Russia, met Milton Friedman in 1932 when they were both graduate students at the University of Chicago. They wed six years later, and their marriage lasted 68 years, until Mr. Friedman’s death in 2006.

A Nobel laureate and a giant of 20th-century economics, Mr. Friedman was a libertarian thinker who believed that government had an obligation to clear a path for markets and that economic freedom was crucial to a free society. His work provided a fundamental stanchion of the presidency of Ronald Reagan and the administration of Margaret Thatcher in Britain.

“On the one hand, freedom in economic arrangements is itself a component of freedom broadly understood,” he wrote in his influential 1962 manifesto, “Capitalism and Freedom,” “so economic freedom is an end in itself. In the second place, economic freedom is also an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom.”

The book was written with the assistance of his wife, to whom Mr. Friedman never wavered in giving full credit as a collaborator. Ms. Friedman’s early economics research on consumer spending data found its way into her husband’s early book “A Theory of the Consumption Function.”

“Econ-nerds through and through,” David Brooks called the couple, reviewing the book in The New York Times Book Review and citing Mr. Friedman’s wistful remark, “I can recall many a pleasant summer evening discussing consumption data and theory in front of a blazing fire.”

They were known for being both romantically and intellectually suited to each other, often appearing in public holding hands, and though often debating — Ms. Friedman was known as the less compromising of the two — rarely, if ever bickering. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in 2006, only a few months before her husband died, Ms. Friedman said the 2003 invasion of Iraq created the first major argument of their life together. She was in favor; he was not.

“We have disagreed on little things, obviously — such as, I don’t want to go out to dinner, he wants to go out — but big issues, this is the first one,” she said.

She was born in a village in what is now Ukraine, probably in the month of December, either in 1911, as she recalled in “Two Lucky People,” or 1910, as her family said in the statement released this week.

When she was 2, just before the onset of World War I, her family joined many other Jews in leaving Russia for the United States. They settled in Portland, Ore., where her father was a peddler and later owned a small general store. She spent two years at Reed College in Portland before transferring to the University of Chicago, where she earned a bachelor’s degree, later completing all the required work for a Ph.D. except a dissertation.

Ms. Friedman is survived by a daughter, Janet; a son, David; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

“I was smart enough to know that he was smarter,” Ms. Friedman said about her husband in a 1999 interview with The American Enterprise.

Asked if she ever felt overshadowed, she responded: “No, I’ve always felt that I’m responsible for at least half of what he’s gotten.”

She added: “Every time he had to go somewhere to change his job, I gave up my job. I didn’t feel that I was giving up anything. It seemed to me that that was the way it should be. He was the main income-bringer. It was his profession that was important. So I never felt neglected; I feel that I have much of the responsibility for his success.”

Leib Pinter said...

Oh man! I was active during the wrong administration.


Mr. Obama put an extra $1 billion for child nutrition programs, including school food, in his 2010 budget proposal.

the Monsey Tzadik said...

Avraham Union is in bed with Menuval Leib Tropper and have the RCC beis din on the Tropper " approved" list.


Wonder how much money Union got from him for that. It bring to mind the Chazal observation that not kosher animals hangs together ("matza min es mino" and "halach haoreev el azarzir")

Why Union does not care that Tropper tries to marginalize the RCA ? probably it has to do with the shochad he gets from him.

Rabbi Moshe Flumenbaum said...


In recent years massive amounts of non-kosher and bidievad-kosher giddin, the special thread used to sew tefillin, sifrei Torah, Nach and megillot have appeared in the STa”M marketplace. This giddin is sold to unsuspecting sofrim and then passed on to the kosher consumer. The problematic giddin is of 2 types. Giddin made from gid, sinews, taken from pigs, horses, camels and other tamei animals or made by non-Jews is pasul and pasuls the STa”M items in which it is used.

Giddin processed by machine and thus not made lishmah lowers the kashrut level of divrei STa”M to being only kosher bidieved.

Information about this scandal has been very slow in becoming public knowledge. This is despite the fact that the Jerusalem Badatz, the Vaad HaRabonim L’inyanei STa”M, Rav Mordechai Friedlander, Rav of Mishmeres STa”M of Jerusalem and Rav Shamai K’hat HaCohen Gross, Rav of Mishmeret Hakodesh have all issued strong warnings in the past to the public about it.

Tefillin having only a general kashrut certificate are suspect as to the giddin used in them. They should be checked by a certified STa”M examiner and re-sewn with giddin having a hechsher.

How has this scam come about? Because few people are familiar with the complex laws of giddin, retzuot and tefillin batim. Most sellers of STa”M are not sofrim. Also, most sofrim only learn how to write STa”M without studying these additional halachot. Even many rabbis are unfamiliar with these halachot unless they have undertaken special study.

Due to the growth in size of the world-wide Jewish community and the attendant growth in the amount of divrei STa”M being produced, the making of giddin has become an industry on the order of magnitude of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Giddin without a hechsher is sold at a very low price at great profit to the illicit manufacturers. Those involved either are ignorant of the halachic requirements for kosher giddin or are knowingly ignoring these requirements for financial gain.

The amount of giddin used in a single pair of tefillin or even in a complete Torah scroll is very small. Thus, demanding kosher, mehudar giddin adds only minimally to the price. Just as with what we eat, tefillin, sifrei Torah, Nach and megillot need to have kashrut certification that includes supervision of the giddin used. The buyer must know who gives the kashrut certification and what is covered by the certificate. If it is not clear what the certification covers a Rabbi should be consulted before making the purchase.

For further halachic references and a list of the hiddurim present in mehudar giddin, see this letter from Rav Shamai K’hat HaCohen Gross

Monticello said...


MONTICELLO — A teenager was charged with felonies and three others were arrested after a fight on Friday night in the parking lot of the Mountain Fruits Store on Broadway.

Police say David Dookerman, 16, of Monticello drove to the rear of the store intending to confront the store manager, Aryeh Simkin, 20, of Brooklyn. He called him out, then began striking Simkin’s 2008 Acura with a stick. When Simkin came outside, Dookerman hit him with a stick and then Simkin, Tzvi Corlin, 20, of Lakewood, N.J. and Yoel Levin, 20, of Monsey, shoved Dookerman to the ground and hit him several times, police say.

Dookerman then got back into his Wind Star and tried to run over Simkin, then smashed into a dumpster, knocking it over. He rammed another car, then wedged the Wind Star between a freezer and the rear of the store building, damaging both.
Troopers and Monticello police arrested him at the scene. Dookerman was charged with attempted assault, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and assault, felonies, and several misdemeanors. He was taken to the Sullivan County jail on $35,000 bail.

Simkin, Corlin and Levin were charged with misdemeanor assault and released.

Margo's accountant said...


The Swiss banking giant UBS on Wednesday reached a final deal with the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service in which it will ultimately disclose names and account details for more than 4,450 wealthy Americans suspected of tax evasion.

The agreement also allows the Swiss government to work with other Swiss financial institutions to disclose the identities of other Americans who have hidden money offshore.

UBS will notify the clients whose names are to be disclosed in coming weeks. Clients still have time to reveal themselves before a voluntary disclosure program ends Sept. 23 to potentially avoid prosecution and steeper penalties and fines, he said.

Scores of Americans have come forward in recent months to disclose their secret accounts to the I.R.S. That group of people, along with the “thousands” of names that UBS would disclose, brings the total of UBS-related names to be disclosed to the I.R.S. to “more than 10,000”. The accounts at one point held over $18 billion.

The United States government retained the right to resume its legal efforts to force banks to turn over names.

The landmark settlement peels back layers of Swiss banking secrecy, and is expected to provide a road map for the authorities as they try to crack down on tax evasion by Americans who, through private banks and other Swiss-based financial intermediaries, use offshore accounts that go undeclared to the I.R.S.

The settlement does not rule out any possible lawsuits against individual UBS employees.

Switzerland has 370 days to examine the accounts of the 4,450 clients and plans to allocate about 70 lawyers and accountants to the task. The effort will cost the government about 40 million Swiss francs, or $37 million, said Hans-Rudolf Merz, the Swiss president. Mr. Merz called on other Swiss banks to stick to the law and regulations in light of the UBS case.

The settlement brings to a close a civil case filed by the Justice Department, on behalf of the I.R.S., in February against UBS that sought to force the bank to turn over the names and account details of 52,000 American clients. UBS fiercely resisted that effort, arguing that it violated Swiss financial secrecy laws, as it lobbied senior Washington officials.

That month, UBS paid $780 million to settle criminal charges that it helped American clients evade taxes on nearly $20 billion stashed in offshore accounts. UBS turned over approximately 250 client names as part of that deal, and will turn over more in coming months. Some 150 Americans are under criminal investigation for tax evasion as part of the investigation.

Oorah / Mintz suing Marvin Schick and RJJ! said...


Oorah, Inc. Vs. Marvin Schick, et al.

Plaintiff: Oorah, Inc.
Defendant: Marvin Schick, Jewish Foundation School and Rabbi Jacob Joseph School
Arbitrator: arbtre

Case Number: 1:2009cv00353
Filed: January 27, 2009

Court: New York Eastern District Court
Office: Contract: Other Office [ Court Info ]
County: Outside home state
Presiding Judge: Chief Judge Raymond J. Dearie
Referring Judge: Magistrate Judge James Orenstein

Nature of Suit: Contract

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin said...

The Highest Standard Of Justice

by Shlomo Riskin

A close reading of Shoftim reveals that critical to the inheritance of the land is the resolve to maintain a high standard of justice, particularly in the appointment of righteous judges “who will not prevent justice, or show favoritism before the law or take bribes of any kind” [Deut. 16:18-20].
When the Torah speaks of pursuing righteousness, it reiterates the word tzedek, tzedek tirdof, “Righteousness, righteousness shall you pursue” [Deut. 16:20], a repetition that prompts a number of important interpretations, including the idea that the methods as well as the result be proper.
Further in Shoftim, the Torah adds another critical criterion: “When there will arise a matter for judgment which is too wondrous for you [requiring extra consideration on the part of the judges] you shall come to... the judge who shall be in those days...” [Deut. 17:8-9], meaning the Sages of each particular era.
There is yet, however, the most important criteria. When Yitro first suggests that Moses set up a court system, we were also presented with their qualifications: “men of valor [hayil], God fearers, men of probity who hate dishonest profit” [Exodus 18:21].
Maimonides defines the word hayil: “Men of valor refers to those who are valiantly mighty with regard to the commandments, punctilious in their own observance,” with the additional stipulation that they have a courageous heart to rescue the oppressed, as Moses rescued the women shepherds at the well. “And just as Moses was humble, so must every judge be humble” [Mishneh Torah, Sanhedrin 2,7].
Rav Shlomo Daichovsky, one of the most learned and incisive judges on the Religious High Court in Jerusalem asks [in his “Epistle to my Fellow Judges,” 25 Shevat, 5768, published in T’chumin, Winter 5768], “how is it possible for me to be a valiant fighter on behalf of the oppressed, which requires the recognition of one’s power to exercise strength against the guilty party, and yet at the same time for me to be humble, which requires self-abnegation and nullification before every person? These are two conflicting and contrasting characteristics.”
Rav Daichovsky concludes that humility is critical only when the judge is not sitting in judgment. When the judge is on the throne of judgment, he must be fearlessly struggling against injustice as though “a sword is resting against his neck and hell is opened up under his feet” [B.T. Sanhedrin 7, Rambam]. “The judge must be ready to enter Gehenom and to face a murderous sword in defense of his legal decision... He must take responsibility and take risks, just like a soldier at war, who dares not worry about saving his own soul.”
The Talmud concludes, “the humility of R. Zecharia b. Avkulis destroyed our Temple, burnt our Sanctuary, and exiled us from our homeland.”
Rav Daichovsky exhorts his fellow judges not to fear any human being when they render a decision, not even great halachic authorities who may disagree with their judgments, because these illustrious scholars did not hear the case that his colleagues are judging and therefore are not vouchsafed the same heavenly aid as the judges who are involved eye-to-eye and heart-to-heart with the litigants.
Tragically, the majority of the judges of the Religious High Court in Israel do not always heed the wise counsel of Rav Daichovsky. Our judges often choose to follow the safe path, too often ruling according to every stringency in cases of divorce (agunot) or in cases of conversions, wreaking havoc on innumerable Jewish families. Given such judges, do we merit our inheritance in the land of our forbears?

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone and chief rabbi of Efrat.

Edward Okun said...

Edward Okun Gets 100 Years for Fraud Scheme

bizjournals.com | 8/6/09

Miami businessman Edward H. Okun was sentenced Tuesday to 100 years in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud clients of his 1031 Tax Group of about $126 million. He also was ordered to forfeit $40 million.

Okun, 58, was convicted in March after a three-week trial in federal court in Richmond, Va. The jury found him guilty of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, bulk cash smuggling and perjury. He was arrested in Mach 2008 at his Hibiscus Island home.

According to evidence presented during his trial, Okun’s clients thought they were using a risk-free tax-deferral service to defer capital gains taxes on property sales. But, instead of holding their money, prosecutors said he and others used the money as a “personal piggy bank” buying a 131-foot yacht, multimillion-dollar homes, a jet and helicopter.

"Because of Edward Okun’s crimes, many victims in this case experienced near financial collapse and personal pain," U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente said. "Today’s sentence is proper punishment for such an egregious breach of trust by a financial adviser."

Bloomberg News Service
POSTED: 08/19/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT

Wachovia Corp. agreed to pay $45 million to settle lawsuits related to its work for tax-deferral firm 1031 Tax Group LLC, whose customers were defrauded of more than $126 million by imprisoned con man Edward Okun.

The accord, which needs approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, N.Y., was disclosed in papers filed last week by the trustee liquidating Richmond, Va.-based 1031 Tax Group. Okun, 58, a Miami businessman originally from Canada, was sentenced this month to 100 years in prison for the fraud.

More than 300 claims totaling $167 million have been filed in the bankruptcy case of the 1031 Tax Group.

UOJ gets results said...


Voters say 'Throw the bums out!': Poll shows 49 percent ready to dump their lawmaker next election

Tuesday, August 18th 2009

Investment advisor to the Tendlers said...


Hedge Funds Say Money Manager Stole Money For Sex Club

August 13, 2009

A group of hedge funds is learning that there are perils to investing with a pornographer.

Todd Ault promised a dozen international hedge funds that he would invest their money in a quantitative stock-trading program, according to their lawsuit, filed in Manhattan state court. In fact, Ault, CEO of Zealous Inc. used the money to buy what he hoped would be a “swingers’ ranch,” the hedge funds allege.

“Ault never intended to use the money for Zealous,” the suit says. “He intended to, and did, use plaintiffs’ money to fund [his] lifestyle, which included the development of a ‘swingers’ ranch’ in the Catskills and other pornographic-related endeavors.”

Ault, a Dean Witter Reynolds and Prudential Securities veteran who lives in California, told the New York Daily News that the lawsuit was “worthless.”

Instead, Ault says the money was lost when the stock market tanked, and that some of the lost money has already been recouped by the hedge funds.

It is true that Ault has pornographic interests. His company co-produced a porno based on former Alaska Gov. and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin. What’s more, Zealous merged with Adult Entertainment Capital in September.

UOJ gets results said...

August 19, 2009

A new set of indictments in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme case appears imminent, including those of family members and feeder fund managers.

The Daily Beast reports that prosecutors plan multiple indictments after Labor Day, and that Madoff’s sons—who have denied any wrongdoing and have reportedly not spoken to their father since his arrest eight months ago—are likely facing charges.

“There is enough hard evidence that the U.S. Attorney’s office could provide to a grand jury,” a Federal Bureau of Investigation source told the Daily Beast of Andrew and Mark Madoff, as well as Peter Madoff, the arch-fraudster’s brother and chief compliance officer of his firm.

Still, the source says it’s unclear that prosecutors will go after the Madoff boys.

“They’re in a mess over there,” the source said of the federal prosecutors. “They really don’t know what they’re doing.”

Madoff’s sons and brother, who all worked at his Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, are not the only former employees in jeopardy. The Daily Beast says that Annette Bongiorno, who was part of the investment advisory business that proved a $65 billion fraud, will likely face charges that she falsified statements to investors.

Investigators reportedly found a note from Bongiorno at Madoff’s Queens, N.Y., warehouse, ordering an employee to produce phony client statements without argument. If she is indicted, Bongiorno will join her former 17th-floor colleague, Frank DiPascali, who last week pleaded guilty to fraud charges stemming from the Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Finally, the Daily Beast says some of the first indictments will target feeder fund operatives who allegedly participated in the fraud.

“We have finally been able to put most of the pieces of the puzzle together,” the FBI source told the Daily Beast. “We have them, we have corroborating details, we just need a little more and we need to decide the most expeditious way to present them, like the order of the indictments, for one.”

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

I luv all you "UOJ gets results" guys; cracks me up....

Old Torah Vodaas said...

A rov comments on UOJ's expose:

The big question is, if we consider a husband and wife who wind up in
a Bais Din as having failed in the art of relationships, doesn't the
very act of resorting to Din Torah also prove that the rabbis in the
yeshiva have failed to set a good example for their students? A Rov
whom I respected once said to me: "You younger people don't realise
the time and circumstances of those dinei Torah. In today's world Rav
Shor would simply have gone and opened his own yeshiva, or R' Yaakov would have branched out on his own, but then there were so few
talmidim and so few supporters who understood what a yeshiva was all
about that they got locked into positions and feuded." And that is
the most charitable viewpoint, and since I am too young to have known
the circumstances I assume it was so.

Many Torah Vodaas talmidim told me that they faulted Rav Mendlowitz
for not making proper succession plans, and not leaving a will even
to protect the interests of his own children. I wonder if he assumed
that the board would do what they wanted anyway, and a will would
just create bad feelings.

Most Rabbonim today are Cowards said...

Is that a branch of the Mountain Fruits on Ave M in Flatbush? There have been various kashrus scandals there over the years that required outside rabbonim lighting fires under the posteriors of Gornish and Kehillah Kashrus to correct things.

What time on "Friday night" were there employees still there at the Monticello store?

Marc Schwartz said...


A defunct wedding photography studio that stiffed thousands of couples out of their nuptial pictures and videos has been ordered to pay more than $3 million in fines, restitution and reimbursement.

Along with a $1.8 million civil fine, Chester-based Celebration Studios and its principal, Marc Schwartz, also were ordered to pay $855,618 in restitution and $383,685 in reimbursement of state attorney fees and investigative costs, according to a "final judgment of default and order" Superior Court Judge Catherine Langlois issued July 17 in Morris County. The state Division of Consumer Affairs released the order yesterday.

Anonymous said...

why is that place close to your heart?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Marc Schwartz is related to Paul Schwartz, also from Chester NJ. He is a very not straight guy who works for the chassidisha company Crystal Clear.

Letter to Yated Ne'eman said...

Dear Editor,

Reb Pinny wrote in his Editor’s View about the terrible tragedies befalling the community in ‎the past few weeks:‎

In his sefer Ahavas Chessed, the Chofetz Chaim explains the posuk in this week’s parsha ‎‎(19:9) which states that we are to love Hashem and go in his ways - “laleches bidrochov kol ‎hayomim.”
The Sifri explains that the way to walk in the path of the L-rd is to be merciful and generous ‎just as He is. “Mah Hamakom nikrah rachum vechanun, af atah hevei rachum vechanun ‎ve’oseh matnas chinom lakol.”

The Chofetz Chaim expounds that just as there is an obligation to study Torah every day, so ‎too there is a duty to perform acts of chessed daily. He says that by doing chessed, a ‎person’s sins are forgiven, his life is lengthened, and he is spared from tragic incidents and ‎the pangs of Moshiach. He goes even further, adding that if these concepts would take root ‎among Am Yisroel and people would rush to perform the mitzvah of gemilus chassodim, the ‎world would become full of middas hachesed, and all tragedy and sorrow would be ‎banished. The way to combat the middas hadin is by increasing the amount of chessed in ‎the world.‎

Reb Pinny:‎

Chessed is still being done by many, many people. Chessed organizations are helping put ‎food on many tables; other people are working their connections to find meaningful, well ‎paying jobs for those who wish to support their families. Chessed alone is not the answer to ‎klal yisroel’s dilemmas. Something else is obviously the root cause of the Jewish dilemma. ‎

A simple glance at the name of the parsha, Shoftim should send a shiver down your spine. ‎Judges, the pursuit of justice, truth and honesty, these are concepts long forgotten by the ‎current Rabbinic and Bais Din movement. ‎

Does a rav know what is in the best interest of the children in regard to custody and ‎visitation? Do they understand the trauma, shame, guilt, and distress an abused person ‎experience? Do they truly understand the legal ramifications of assisting criminals in the ‎process of doing a crime? Do they use their position to glorify the name of Hashem, or to ‎glorify their own name? The answer is, NO, NO, NO, and NO.‎

When the rabbis finally choose to rebuild the weak and downtrodden in our communities ‎that is when Midas Hachessed will finally be put into the world. When personal feelings for ‎those who pursue others are quashed, and the rabbis look at things with a fresh outlook ‎then Midas Hachessed will fill the world. When the rights of a child’s safety trump the ‎rights of an abusive parent, relative, teacher, or friend then Midas Hachessed is embracing ‎the world. At that moment there will be no room for Midas Hadin in the world.‎

We keep doing our part, now it’s time for the Torah giants and visionaries to do theirs.


May the entire Mishpacha of Dov Ber ben Rav Shmuel Yaakov have a complete nechama with the arrival of Moshiach very soon. ‎

Readers in Chicago

Malach HaMovies said...

In Just one Jew, Moishe thanks (among others) his brother Feivel for helping him come back to yiddishkeit. I wonder if Feldheim will be censoring that sentence in the next edition.

Margo's valet said...


One former UBS banker testified that he smuggled a client's diamonds into the United States in a tube of toothpaste.

Other Swiss banks are fretting that the U.S. taxman's spotlight may now fall on them. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that more European banks have been identified in the U.S. tax probe, including Switzerland's Credit Suisse, Julius Baer, Zuercher Kantonalbank and Union Banque Privee (UBP).

'The majority of assets in Swiss private banks are from European Union citizens,' said David Williams, an analyst at Fox-Pitt Kelton in London. 'I think it won't be long before we see action from the European Union along similar lines.'

Under a temporary amnesty program in effect until Sept. 23, U.S. citizens can come forward and declare accounts, pay fines and in general avoid criminal prosecutions.

Taxpayers who turn themselves in voluntarily pay all unpaid taxes plus interest, pay 20 percent of the amount of tax that was underpaid over the past six years, and a penalty of 20 percent of the highest value of that account over six years.

Officials said taxpayers face much harsher punishment if they are discovered by the IRS.

'You can end owing more than is in the account, when you add up all the liabilities,' said an IRS official who was not authorized to be named.

The UBS case has boosted the amnesty program. The agency saw about 400 people come forward during one week in July compared to about 100 during all of 2008 alone.

Eichler's said...

We heard a rumor that Belsky plans on plodding into our store to leaf through Moishe Mendlowitz's book for any criticisms of him. Here's advance warning that we expect him to pay for any volume that will get his sticky fingerprints on every page.

Peoria Police imitate UOJ said...


PEORIA, Ill. -- This industrial city, hard hit by the recession, has found a new, low-budget way to fight crime: Park an unmanned, former Brink's truck bristling with video cameras in front of the dwellings of troublemakers.

Police here call it the Armadillo. They say it has restored quiet to some formerly rowdy streets. Neighbors' calls for help have dropped sharply. About half of the truck's targets have fled the neighborhood.

"The truck is meant to be obnoxious and to cause shame," says Peoria Police Chief Steven Settingsgaard.

Gateway Itchie said...

so this Rabbi of this shul, what was his response to this letter. Has it undermined his authority at all. The author of the letter - is he still persona grata at the shul? Do people know who wrote it? What's going on?

Anonymous said...

hey-i posted last nite-kids are finally quiet-so i decided to come back and not get answered again...it's fun to talk to myself....Mr. whatever you call yourself- do you ever go to bed at night worried that Hashem is not entirely happy with you???

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

hey-i posted last nite-kids are finally quiet-so i decided to come back and not get answered again...it's fun to talk to myself....Mr. whatever you call yourself- do you ever go to bed at night worried that Hashem is not entirely happy with you???


Did not your mommy teach you not to call people by "hey"?

More important, who did you vote for?

Obama's Hell-Care plan said...


AUGUST 19, 2009

ObamaCare Is All About Rationing


Although administration officials are eager to deny it, rationing health care is central to President Barack Obama’s health plan. The Obama strategy is to reduce health costs by rationing the services that we and future generations of patients will receive.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers issued a report in June explaining the Obama administration's goal of reducing projected health spending by 30% over the next two decades. That reduction would be achieved by eliminating "high cost, low-value treatments," by "implementing a set of performance measures that all providers would adopt," and by "directly targeting individual providers . . . (and other) high-end outliers."

The president has emphasized the importance of limiting services to "health care that works." To identify such care, he provided more than $1 billion in the fiscal stimulus package to jump-start Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) and to finance a federal CER advisory council to implement that idea. That could morph over time into a cost-control mechanism of the sort proposed by former Sen. Tom Daschle, Mr. Obama's original choice for White House health czar. Comparative effectiveness could become the vehicle for deciding whether each method of treatment provides enough of an improvement in health care to justify its cost.

In the British national health service, a government agency approves only those expensive treatments that add at least one Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) per £30,000 (about $49,685) of additional health-care spending. If a treatment costs more per QALY, the health service will not pay for it. The existence of such a program in the United States would not only deny lifesaving care but would also cast a pall over medical researchers who would fear that government experts might reject their discoveries as "too expensive."

One reason the Obama administration is prepared to use rationing to limit health care is to rein in the government's exploding health-care budget. Government now pays for nearly half of all health care in the U.S., primarily through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The White House predicts that the aging of the population and the current trend in health-care spending per beneficiary would cause government outlays for Medicare and Medicaid to rise to 15% of GDP by 2040 from 6% now. Paying those bills without raising taxes would require cutting other existing social spending programs and shelving the administration's plans for new government transfers and spending programs.

The rising cost of medical treatments would not be such a large burden on future budgets if the government reduced its share in the financing of health services. Raising the existing Medicare and Medicaid deductibles and coinsurance would slow the growth of these programs without resorting to rationing. Physicians and their patients would continue to decide which tests and other services they believe are worth the cost.

There is, of course, no reason why limiting outlays on Medicare and Medicaid requires cutting health services for the rest of the population. The idea that they must be cut in parallel is just an example of misplaced medical egalitarianism.

Mr. Feldstein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan, is a professor at Harvard and a member of The Wall Street Journal's board of contributors.

Sanctimonious Putz said...


August 20, 2009

Obama Calls Health Plan a ‘Moral Obligation’


WASHINGTON — President Obama sought Wednesday to reframe the health care debate as “a core ethical and moral obligation,” imploring a coalition of religious leaders to help promote the plan to lower costs and expand insurance coverage for all Americans.

“I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness,” Mr. Obama told a multidenominational group of pastors, rabbis and other religious leaders who support his goal to remake the nation’s health care system.

Judge appointed by Clinton emboldened by Bim Bam said...


WASHINGTON — In a ruling that threw into doubt one of the government’s main counterterrorism tools, a federal judge said the Treasury Department acted unconstitutionally three years ago when it froze the assets of an Ohio charity suspected of aiding terrorists.

At issue was a decision in 2006 by the Office of Foreign Asset Control, or OFAC, in the Treasury Department to freeze about $1 million in assets of KindHearts, a Columbus charity that was part of a terrorism investigation.

The Treasury Department had said that KindHearts provided financial support for Hamas, described by the United States as a Palestinian militant group, and coordinated with its leaders in the West Bank and in Lebanon in support of terrorist activities.

Shea Fishman said...

Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Hurricane Bill strengthened to a Category 4 storm over the Atlantic and is forecast to increase in power as it heads toward Canada after passing between Bermuda and the east coast of the U.S.

Canadian authorities will start issuing bulletins on Bill today, Peter Bowyer, a program supervisor for the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, said yesterday.

No storm of Category 3 intensity or stronger has hit Canada since record-keeping began in 1851, Bowyer said.

Avi L. Shafran said...

The hat on Brad Pitt is mistomma a black hat that is very dusty.


The Latest Hat Craze

Anonymous said...

KIRYAS JOEL — The state Labor Department is investigating an allegation that the Village of Kiryas Joel broke the law by failing to withhold taxes from a village street sweeper's wages.

"We do have a complaint on file. It is an ongoing investigation. I don't have any further information," said Labor Department spokeswoman Jean Genovese.

The complaint was filed by Anthony Martin of Highland Mills, who contends the village showed him the door in retaliation for speaking up about the village's tax policies.

He's suing the village in federal court, saying his First Amendment rights were violated. He's seeking reinstatement and money damages.

In his lawsuit, filed in late May, Martin also said he filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service.

An IRS spokeswoman, Dianne Besunder, wrote in an e-mail that "The IRS is prohibited by law from commenting on any individual taxpayer or organization. Additionally, we do not discuss or speculate about any individual taxpayer's circumstances."

She said that applies to municipalities, as well as individuals.

Anonymous said...

Last year, Bevis Marks Synagogue, the oldest in the UK, hired a young new rabbi named Natan Asmoucha, who they hoped would breathe life into their old and failing synagogue. Rabbi Asmoucha brought new vibrancy and was successful at increasing synagogue attendance.

About three weeks ago, however, Rabbi Asmoucha took part in an interfaith effort to lobby the Royal Bank of Scotland to reduce their interest rates on credit cards to a minimum of 10%. As part of this effort he invited a Muslim Imam and his supporters into the synagogue without first getting permission from the synagogue’s board of directors. As a result the board of directors called him to a disciplinary meeting and temporarily suspended him from his duties.

According to London’s Jewish Chronicle, in a letter circulated last week to the members of the Board of Elders, the governing body of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation, their president Alfred Magnus explained the disciplinary action. Alfred Magnus noted that Rabbi Asmoucha “gave all the demonstrators access to the inside of the synagogue, in order to be addressed by him, as well as its hall and courtyard, without any security checks first taking place.

“He then accompanied and assisted the demonstrators with their goal of delivering a political message to the chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland, that had not been authorized by his employer.”

According to the letter, “the mahamad (board of management) are summoning Rabbi Asmoucha to a second disciplinary hearing on August 17 for gross misconduct, because of his alleged serious breaches of confidentiality and for making seriously derogatory public statements about the mahamad and Rabbi Levy (the senior spiritual leader of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation of the UK), the outcome of which could lead to termination of the rabbi’s employment, either summarily or otherwise.”

Shlomo Dwek ratted him out too? said...


Folk and rock singer/songwriter Bob Dylan was detained by police in Long Branch, New Jersey last month. Dylan, 68, was scheduled to play a national concert tour with Wille Nelson and John Mellencamp at a baseball stadium near Lakewood. On July 23, Dylan was walking around the area in the rain. He wandered into a yard of a home that had a “For Sale” sign on it. The residents became very weary because of his appearance and called the Long Branch Police to report an "eccentric-looking old man" in the yard.

When officer Kristie Buble, 24, arrived to the scene, she said the man told her he was Bob Dylan. Buble’s defense, “Now, I've seen pictures of Bob Dylan from a long time ago and he didn't look like Bob Dylan to me at all. He was wearing black sweatpants tucked into black rain boots, and two raincoats with the hood pulled down over his head.”

Dylan didn’t have any identification on his person so she drove him to his hotel where he was spending the night. Buble says, “He was really nice, though, and he said he understood why I had to verify his identity and why I couldn't let him go.”

Levi Brackman said...

A friend who is a leadership consultant recently told me that the Jewish community in the United States is in crisis. “The Jewish community is far too fragmented and there is little leadership amongst it rabbis to pull it together,” he complained to me.

He has a point. In by gone times rabbis used to lead their congregations—they would be involved in every level of communal affairs. Nowadays rabbis act as agents of the communities rather than as leaders of them. Having been a congregational rabbi and also having met with synagogue rabbis to discuss issues affecting the wider Jewish community I can attest to this.

It is rare that a rabbi can make a decision on his own. There is always the caveat that he must first discuss it with the board of management or more accurately with his boss. Often the rabbi’s ideas will then be overruled by the management and nothing will get done. Most seasoned rabbis know not to act on anything of consequence without prior approval of their employers.

Anonymous said...

vote for??????????????not following-kids turn my head to mush

Anonymous said...

hey...whoops hi there-im the anonymous thats been writing in- just a quickie question and then back to work- how can you insinuate that children cant be better than their parents??? I would hate to think that my spiritual development cannot exceed my parents...imagine if avraham avinu would have just not bothered since his father worshipped idols,,...you-as a human being- do not know what level another person can attain- i think that you really have to ask mechila to the families of the criminals....you don't want their anger and embarrassment directed to you on rosh hashanah- why arent you afraid of that???

Politically incorrect said...


Evidently, Shmarya is not the only Triple A Sicko suffering from extreme anti-frum psychosis. Seth Lipsky of the NY Sun and Wall Street Journal reports here that the Forward was the only Left wing secular Jewish newspaper that sided with the yeshivish kedoshim in the Chevron pogrom of 1929. The rest sided with the Arabs.

Shmarya has previously blamed the Jews for being massacred by Cossacks in the gzeiros Tach Vetat and by Ukranians collaborating with the Nazis during the Shoah.

Sidney Zion said...


Although he fasted on Yom Kippur and went to shul on the High Holidays, I never realized that Sidney, who fraternized with more than his share of mobsters, who spent too many evenings commuting between the bars at Gallagher’s, Frankie and Johnnie’s, and Elaine’s, was particularly religious. So I was surprised to learn at his funeral that his daily ritual included the laying of teffilin.

Sid had a love-hate relationship with the Times. Let me give an example. In his last years at the Times, Sid got a tip that Judge Henry Friendly, then perhaps the preeminent appellate court judge in the country and prominently mentioned as a possible U.S. Supreme Court nominee, many years earlier failed to disqualify himself from ruling on a case in which he had a conflict of interest. Assured by Managing Editor Abe Rosenthal that if he got the goods the Times would print the piece, Sidney spent the next weeks definitively documenting the story. But when the time came to print it, Rosenthal was overruled by James Reston, who was then running the paper. Reston summoned Zion into his 10th floor office, and from behind his imposing desk, explained that if Friendly actually received a Supreme Court nomination, the Times would run the story. But absent that, Reston was not about to run a piece that would cast a dark shadow on Friendly’s otherwise distinguished career.

“The difference between you and me, Mr. Zion,” Reston said, “is that you were brought up as a poor Jew on the scrappy streets of Passaic, New Jersey, whereas I was brought up in the Church of Scotland outside of Glasgow.” At this point, Sidney rudely interrupted. “I thought that the difference between us,” he said, “is you are sitting there, whereas I am sitting here.”

Henoch from Lakewood and Rishty from Deal said...



United Credit Adjusters, a credit counseling and repair service with offices in Howell, Lakewood and Wall, was ordered to pay almost $600,000 in penalties for allegedly defrauding consumers, Attorney General Anne Milgram said Thursday.

Meantime, its two officers, Ezra Rishty and Ahron E. Henoch, were ordered to reimburse 17 customers and were banned from working in the industry in New Jersey, according to terms of the settlement.

"This settlement sends a clear message to those who think they can profit from the misfortune of others during these difficult economic times — you are wrong," Milgram said.

The company — along with sister companies, Bankruptcy Masters Corp., United Counseling Association Inc., and Credit Bureau Controls Corp. — were sued by the state in October for allegedly failing to deliver on their promise to help consumers with credit problems.

They are among several companies that have tried during the recession to capitalize on consumers who, saddled with debt, want to improve their credit scores. Experts have noted that there is no magic formula to improve credit scores other than steadily paying off debt.

The company didn't admit liability or wrongdoing. A call to Reuel Topas, an attorney for the companies and their officers, wasn't returned.

United Credit Adjusters last May attracted headlines after a former employee was arrested by Howell police and charged with deceiving a customer who claimed to have lost about $4,500.

Henoch at the time told the Asbury Park Press: "The bottom line is, we are not doing anything which is not legitimate."

Among the terms of the settlement:

The companies must pay $500,000 in civil penalties and $86,918 to reimburse the state.

Rishty and Henoch must pay $15,022 in restitution to 17 customers.

The two are permanently banned from doing credit counseling, credit repair, debt adjustments and bankruptcy work in New Jersey.

Anonymous said...

Is that the same Rishty who went to jail for insurance fraud in the '90's? Some people never learn.

Chief Rabbi Kassin said...


Kassin was also known as an adept mathematician; perhaps his ease with numbers gave him an ease with the world of business his relatives and congregants inhabited that other rabbis wouldn’t necessarily have had. His prominence gave him access to far more money than neighboring synagogues, or rival ones; another accused rabbi, Edmond Nahum, of the Deal Synagogue, estimated Kassin was taking in hundreds of thousands of dollars a week “at least,” through an unnamed charity affiliated with his synagogue, Shaare Zion. “Kassin is the best,” Nahum allegedly told the government’s mole in the community, identified as Solomon Dwek, the son of another community rabbi, who was arrested in 2006 on suspicion of trying to perpetrate a $50 million check-kiting scam.

Charlie Hynes said...

I'm glad my counterparts in the Carolinas also let pedophiles get off easy with probation like in this case at the Conservative yeshiva. How is Kolko enjoying his probation by the way?


Greensboro, NC -- A former school rabbi was sentenced nearly two years after his arrest for allegedly having sex with a student.

Greensboro Police arrested David Alan Stein, the former director with the American Hebrew Academy, after a male student said they had sex. The alleged sex acts happened during the 2006-07 school year on the AHA campus.

He was originally charged with eight counts of engaging in sexual activity with a student.

Stein was sentenced to three years probation Monday.

Ezra Rishty said...


The government's evidence at trial showed that, in 1990, appellants contacted Ezra Rishty, Isaac's cousin, for help in an insurance fraud scheme. Rishty was a public insurance adjuster in New York City who had conspired with various clients in over 200 fraudulent insurance schemes in the past.

Australian Agudah Fresser said...


by Adam Schwab

The Supreme Court of New South Wales has delivered significant findings of penalty in the civil action brought by ASIC against various former executives and directors of asbestos manufacturer, James Hardie.

The civil action related to a press release approved by the James Hardie board in February 2001 which wrongfully claimed that an asbestos trust setup to compensate victims was “fully funded” and “provided certainty for both claimants and shareholders”. It was later determined that the Trust established by Hardie was underfunded by $1.8 billion.

Other James Hardie executives to receive civil penalties included former general counsel, Peter Shafran ($75,000 fine and seven-year ban)

Archie Bunker said...

Reuel Topas, the Lakewood lawyer defending Rishty & Henoch, learned in Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon in LA in the 70s.

He used to show up years ago on FM to argue with Shmarya and he may have been banned from the blog.


Shmarya never picked up on this hilarious lawsuit that Topas was involved in. Some Lakewood shvartzas complained that dummies hanging from trees on Bais Kaila property on Purim were "racist" because they could be confused with lynchings in the South. The frivolous lawsuit was of course thrown out by the court. The shvartzas had also argued that Topas was part of the "conspiracy" since he was retained by the defendants to act as their attorney.

Moral preaching from the Morally Bankrupt Agudah said...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Lauding the idea of universal health coverage but warning about the challenges that health care reform may pose in the realm of religious rights, Agudath Israel of America’s Washington Office director and counsel, Rabbi Abba Cohen, laid out his organization’s perspective in a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, and copied to Congressional leaders and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The letter calls “universal coverage” a “worthy goal” and the fact that tens of millions of Americans reportedly have no health coverage “unacceptable.” At the same time, it expresses concern that the cost-cutting measures designed to achieve universal coverage could result in diminished medical options for patients, and might undermine the centrality of the patient-doctor relationship.

Those concerns, according to Agudath Israel, must be considered in light of the fact that, for Orthodox Jews and millions of Americans of all faiths, “the preservation of life and the promotion of good health and well-being are religious imperatives.” This insight, writes Rabbi Cohen, “adds an important new dimension to the debate over health care policy” - a debate that has taken center stage in the public arena as legislation seeking to overhaul health care in the United States is being considered by Congress.

The issue of religious rights, Rabbi Cohen writes, certainly bears impact on patient treatment. Agudath Israel is concerned that appropriate health care may not be provided in circumstances where “cost-benefit” analyses or judgments about “quality of life” may cause treatment to be denied; and asserts that treatment of the infirm must take into account patients’ religious convictions.

Furthermore, the religious rights of health-care providers and private sector employers must also be respected, writes Rabbi Cohen. When medical personnel, for instance, are “called upon to perform medical procedures they consider religiously or morally objectionable” or “employers are told to provide coverage for such procedures,” Agudath Israel asserts, their rights should be safeguarded.

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s executive vice president, noted the unique contribution the organization’s letter makes to the ongoing national debate. “Discussion of the religious dimension of health care has been largely absent from the national dialogue,” he says. “In reality, matters of life and death cannot be measured solely in dollars and cents; they no less need to be considered through the prism of religion and morality.”

Shmarya groupie said...


Boycott Israel

An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it's the only way to save his country.

By Neve Gordon
August 20, 2009

Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the push for an international boycott of Israel. Films have been withdrawn from Israeli film festivals, Leonard Cohen is under fire around the world for his decision to perform in Tel Aviv, and Oxfam has severed ties with a celebrity spokesperson, a British actress who also endorses cosmetics produced in the occupied territories. Clearly, the campaign to use the kind of tactics that helped put an end to the practice of apartheid in South Africa is gaining many followers around the world.

Not surprisingly, many Israelis -- even peaceniks -- aren't signing on. A global boycott can't help but contain echoes of anti-Semitism. It also brings up questions of a double standard (why not boycott China for its egregious violations of human rights?) and the seemingly contradictory position of approving a boycott of one's own nation.

I am convinced that it is the only way that Israel can be saved from itself.

The most accurate way to describe Israel today is as an apartheid state.

It is therefore clear to me that the only way to counter the apartheid trend in Israel is through massive international pressure. The words and condemnations from the Obama administration and the European Union have yielded no results, not even a settlement freeze, let alone a decision to withdraw from the occupied territories.

Neve Gordon is the author of "Israel's Occupation" and teaches politics at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, Israel.

Robert Ben Moshe said...

NEW YORK – American International Group Inc.'s new CEO will be paid a yearly salary worth $7 million and could earn millions more in performance-based incentives, the bailed-out insurance giant said Monday.

Robert Benmosche, who was born and raised in Monticello, will receive $3 million in cash and $4 million in stock under his annual compensation package, AIG said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Benmosche will also be eligible for a yearly performance-based bonus of up to $3.5 million in stock, the company said. AIG said the amount of Benmosche's bonus will be decided by AIG's compensation committee and will be subject to restrictions under the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program. He will not be entitled to severance pay should he leave for any reason.

The company said the government's new federal pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg, has agreed in principle to Benmosche's pay package. Seven firms, including AIG, were required to submit compensation plans for top earners to Feinberg's office last week.

Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams said Benmosche's pay package "will be formally approved as part of the broader review" of compensation at bailed-out companies.

During the credit crisis last fall, the government rescued AIG from the brink of collapse with a bailout package worth up to $182.5 billion. The government now owns roughly 80 percent of the huge insurer. AIG is now shedding assets and cutting costs as it restructures.

Benmosche, a former MetLife Inc. chairman and CEO, was named president and CEO of AIG on Aug. 3. He replaced CEO Edward Liddy, former CEO of Allstate Corp., who took over last fall after the government rescued the New York-based insurer.

Benmosche helped finance the Recovery Center in Monticello. Benmosche's family owned the former Patio Motel on Broadway in Monticello, now the Econo-Lodge, as well as the now-defunct Fireside restaurant.

His father, Daniel, built the Patio Motel in the early 1950s. He died of a heart attack on his way to the lumberyard near the eve of its opening. Robert was about 11 years old.

Leib Tropper said...


Why are you guys only slamming me? Some Lubavitcher shluchim are also chasing after every Jew married to a shiksa.

Dr. Abortion Putz Rosenzweig said...


Jewish Abortion Technician

After a young woman’s 1871 death, the press took aim at an immigrant from Plotsk

Anonymous said...

A woman has sued magician David Copperfield, contending he sexually assaulted and threatened her while she was a guest on his private island in the Bahamas.

Copperfield's lawyers Angelo Calfo and Patty Eakes deny the allegations and say the lawsuit is "extortion for money, plain and simple."

No criminal charges have been filed.

The Seattle Times describes the woman as a 22-year-old fashion model and former Miss Washington USA contestant. She says she met Copperfield during a January 2007 performance in Kennewick, Washington, and that year she was invited to his private island.

The Times says the lawsuit was filed July 29 in federal court in Seattle against David Seth Kotkin, Copperfield's given name. That date was the deadline for a two-year statute of limitations.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Unorthodox jew- do you ever get depressed while keeping this blog up to date? I've been glancing over here for a couple of days now, and man this is so depressing-you all just talk about the misery of this planet...Trust me-I'm not on of those happy-go-lucky chicks, but boy oh boy is this something else...say-how about we discuss shabbos recipes...I need to jazz up my cholent-roasted chicken-kugel trio....any good ideas???

Anonymous said...

Mr. Unorthodox Jew- you know what I noticed today? I noticed how lucky we are that the sky and the trees match so nicely....you know-Hashem could have made the trees hot pink and the sky orange....ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww....now where are my cholent recipes- I's sure that there are some hefty guys reading this blog who can share their secret ingredients with me with me...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Unorthodox Jew- how many times a day do you genuinely laugh??/ I had this conversation with someone in work today...My co-worker read some article that the average person laughs about 20 times a day-i'm not sure if they're talking about fake laugh, chuckles or real hearty laughs..I find that I chuckle about 8 times a day....have a hearty laugh about twice a month......and fake chuckle about 33 times a day....what about you????

Anonymous said...

Mr. Unorthodox Jew- listen, we'll continue chatting some other time- my daughter is screaming from her bed that I should cover her...get this- she wakes us up sometimes howling like the world is coming to an end- my husband usually jumps up like a mad man...I just hiss to him-"Tell her that she's sleeping on the deck tonite....tell her....tell her..."...does she end up on the deck???no....Do we keep running into her and covering her so that she doesn't wake up her sister?? yes...G'nite....carry on....did you hear about the schmuck in monsey who wore the black hat- he told agudah to...and then Rabbi Cohen had the utter gall to tell..and then i saw with my own eyes how the frummies in boro park took the prostitutes...and the flatbush machers in woodlake got .....

Anonymous said...

Mr Unorthodox jew-I need help here-my son jost woke up yelling baabaa(that means Barney)- so i schlepped him into my room and he watched Baby Bop's 3rd Birthday....not the best of ideas, huh??? you know-when checking out a shidduch, i think it is very important to find out how the potential spouse reacts to being woken up multiple times during the long night- i think thats the real cause of divorce...yeah -everyone looks good in the daytime hours, but do we know whats going on at 2am..(she's your daughter-not mine) or 3 am( thats it-im quitting my job) or 4 am (i'm moving out)

Joe Putz said...

Are there any shrinks in the house who can give Mrs. Anonymous some pro bono therapy?

Shmarya groupie said...


despite voting for President Obama last November, Ms. Scrop now sees the health care debate in Washington as a source of considerable concern. Like many among the lipsticked poker sharks, treadmill walkers and mah-jongg warriors who stay active at the community’s Phase 4 Clubhouse, Ms. Scrop has found her lifelong allegiance to the Democratic Party competing with her fears that the cost of providing universal coverage will fall heavily on the aged.

“It’s scary,” said Ms. Scrop, a retired bookkeeper from Long Island who moved to southeast Florida in 1989. “If they change the benefit amounts, it’s going to come out of my pocket. I’m sure there’s going to be some kind of change. I just hope it’s not going to be too bad.”

It seemed to matter little that Mr. Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress have vowed to protect Medicare benefit levels and have disavowed any interest in “pulling the plug on grandma,” as the president put it last week. Ms. Scrop and other residents of this sprawling community of coral-colored condominiums have heard about plans to wring hundreds of billions of dollars out of the projected growth in Medicare spending. Even though the largest of the proposed cuts would reduce reimbursements to hospitals, many fear that beneficiaries would ultimately lose out.

many express a generalized fear that care of the elderly will take a back seat and that access to procedures and drugs may be restricted. They paid into Medicare their entire working lives, several said, and basic fairness demands that they be allowed to keep what they have.

“I don’t want to have things cut from what I need,” said Sandy Burd, 64, the clubhouse social director. “If I’m 65 and need an M.R.I., I don’t want them to say, ‘I’m sorry, but it has to go to someone who’s 45.’ ”

Hal Goldman, 79, who retired 22 years ago from Sears, Roebuck & Company, echoed that sentiment.

“What they’re trying to do — Obama is — is take from the senior citizens and give to the poor and the illegal immigrants,” Mr. Goldman said “It’s hurting the senior citizens who worked all their lives. Because of their age, like in Canada, you’ll have to wait six months for an M.R.I.”

In last year’s election, voters 60 and older were the only age group to support Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee. But that was not the case here in Broward County, which was critical to the Democratic victory in Florida. In the nine precincts that make up Sunrise Lakes, which is dominated by elderly Jewish transplants from the urban North, three of every four votes went to Mr. Obama.

That makes it particularly striking that there is such anxiety here about Democratic health care initiatives. Although the opinion is far from universal, some Obama supporters said they were regretting, or at least reassessing, their choice.

“I voted for President Obama, and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m sorry now because I don’t trust what he’s saying,” said Elaine Carl, 71, president of recreation at the development’s Phase 4. “I think they’re going to take away from Medicare. I really do.”

There are others, of course, whose enthusiasm for Mr. Obama has not flagged. Ronald A. Clifford, 73, who patrols the property in a golf cart as a part-time security guard, blamed “roughnecks” for fomenting dissent at town-hall-style meetings because “they hate having a black president.”

“All in all, I support Obama no matter what he does,” Mr. Clifford said. “Whatever he does, that’s the emes. You know what that is? That’s Yiddish for the truth.”

Anonymous said...

crap, i think mrs anonymous is my wife.